GE department closing still hurts in city

Saturday March 2, 2013

Tony Dobrowolski’s Feb. 23 article about the demolition of General Electric’s high voltage laboratory lacked insight into the feelings on the subject of former employees of the power transformer department.

He wrote that, "GE for years was the city’s largest employer. The company’s decision to close its power transformer division in 1986 shook Pittsfield to its core. But long-time GE employees recovered from those emotional aftershocks a long time ago. Seeing the high voltage laboratory come down doesn’t mean much to them anymore." GE caused devastation to thousands of employees when it sold the transformer business and the aerospace division. Having 251Ž2 years of service and laid off at age 43, I have still not recovered from the loss of my job at GE. I am sure there are many other former employees in the same situation.

Minimum wage jobs and not having any well-paying blue collar and white collar jobs is what devastated Pittsfield. Trying to send our kids to college, keeping our homes, and trying to get by day by day is still common in this city. Alfred Shogry, the former president of the Berkshire Central Labor Council, who worked at GE from 1951 to 1992, does not speak for the salaried union anymore and I am surprised at his statement concerning the lab’s closing that "It would have meant something a while ago."

It means something to me every time I drive by that plant! I think that he should have interviewed a few more people for this article to find out how they feel.




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